For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days - until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community...but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.
With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over - for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again - in ways she could never have imagined....
©1996 Elizabeth Moon (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Unusual story, endearing characters that I just wanted to be with. As soon as I finished it, I played it again and was equally as charmed and delighted by the second hearing as the first.
The babies, I wanted to cuddle them too. Actually I loved all the characters even the son and daughter-in-law and especially the 70 year old lady who made me look at my grandma in a very different way.
She was just great. Trying to pronounce those alien words when you are reading them can be frustrating but hearing them doesn't interupt the story flow and Ms Hart does a great job of that. Her voice is soft and a little smokey and not overly dramatic. For this story she was a great pleasure to listen to.
Really extreme for me. Listened twice in a row, the first time non stop and I'm writing this review without being asked to by Audible :) Never done that before.
Ms Elizabeth Moon has written a wonderful book, wish I had discovered it before. Give yourself a great treat and listen to this lovely story that will stay with you for a long time.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat and try to be just like Ofelia! Remnant Population isn't a perfect book, but it sure has a wonderful protagonist and one unlike any I have previously come across in Sci-Fi. Ofelia has traveled the stars in her lifetime but doesn't begin her real personal journey until the age of 70, and Remnant Population is the story of that amazing personal evolution. Most sci-fi lovers will enjoy the second 1/2 of this novel, but you should be aware that this is a much more character driven novel than most science fiction, although plot and setting play a much larger role in the second half of the book. However, the first half of the book may feel like a bit of a slog for someone looking for traditional sci-fi - there is almost no action. It takes the author a full 2 hours to set up the story, another hour before any suspense is introduced, and another 2 hours after that before the real action begins. After a very gradual buildup, the entire second half of the book is chock-full of both characters and drama that are totally engaging. There is a reason for Moon's slow movement into the real meat of the story - without the introductory setup, you can't fully appreciate how and why Ofelia changes the way she does and why she is oddly the right person in the right place at the right time to take on a very hard and weird job. I can appreciate Moon's craftsmanship, but I still felt a bit like a desert nomad who finally reaches an amazing oasis when I came to the second half of the book. In the final analysis, I'd recommend Remnant Population to anyone who has a little patience and loves good sci-fi with great characters, but just go in prepared for a very slow start. Ofelia is a gem of a character - she really is worth the wait to get to know her.
Vanessa Hart's narration is perfect. She has a nice voice, with a nice rhythm. She sets a fairly brisk pace which is very good for the slower section of the book. She handles the "alien" language really well and, without actually sounding old, Hart sounds worldly-wise just like I think Ofelia would sound.
I love this story, ever since I first read it and was thrilled to find it here on Audible. The narrator's voice has a wonderful 'aged' timbre and fits the character. It may be Science Fiction but has the universal themes of being in charge of one's own destiny and how the choices one makes to interact with 'new people' has long lasting repercussions. Elderly heroines are rare and this one is well worth remembering.
I love the way the author has in telling this story. After listening to the whole thing I want to turn around and listen to it again. I already miss the characters and can see how this planet will develop into something wonderful.
This book started very slow and I almost put it down several times. Ended up being worthwhile.
Narration was very good
I have loved this book since I first read it years ago. The story is interesting and though I didn't quite enjoy the narration as well as some others it was still very good.
I might try another book by Moon. This was clearly a guilty pleasure where she wrote a story she wanted to live out. I wonder if characters not so fully based on herself are written as well.
The performance is very fitting for the main character, and had Moon stayed with her the entire time this choice in performer would have been perfect, however, the book bounces around not only to the speech of others, but also to different perspectives for whom this voice actor does not have the range to breathe life into. The reader also has many distracted stumbles, getting tripped up by words or perhaps caught on the transitions of pages. These should have been redone but are left in as she transitions fairly well, but they are still noticeable enough to remind you that someone is reading a story, taking you out of the moment of being with said story.
There are also other problems with the recording, background sounds that reveal that this was not done in a studio but likely the voice actor’s home. At first I thought they were background noises in my own environment, then one night in chapter sixteen, I distinctly heard a phone vibrating. Chapter 17, dogs barking in the background. I replayed the sections and sure enough there it was. Even with all of these rather unprofessional problems, it still sounds quite good, being clear and distinct.
Disappointment. I've always assumed that such a prolific author produced better work, and while her descriptions are wonderful, her story is not.
In the future the patriarchy is alive and well even without the framing of religion to prop it up. Only men make the laws, women are expected to be modest and wait on them, minding to shut their mouths in their presence lest they be struck down.
We have advanced to the point of Faster than Light transit, Cryogenics, and crafting machines that can produce anything a colony could need though only in odd ways. The machine can create for you an entire light bulb in working order, but gets hung up on the intricacies of shirt making and is only able to produce rolls of fabric instead. And though our wayward colony has weather satellites that can take pictures of anything on the ground, it goes 40 years without ever realizing that an indigenous species lives on the planet, even with their primitive towns cropping up along the ocean side. This is very convenient because without such a glaring oversight the story would never work.
Enter Ofelia Falfurrias, one of the last remaining original colonists, an ancient old woman who finds her joy in tending her garden while she continues a running inner dialog about her disgust for her annoying daughter-in-law and ungrateful youngest son, who happens to be her last living descendant. Her peaceful days are cut short when the colony is disbanded by the leaseholder and all sharecroppers shipped off world. Ofelia is old though, and does not want to go. She hides and spends several years living in the town alone thanks to the conveniently left behind and fully operational machinery.
Moon describes in lavish detail how she kneads bread, tends her garden, writes down old gossip in the colony manifest, and dabbles in beadwork for 50% of the book. Finally boring of this, she brings in the indigents, a native species that read like intelligent dog men, who apparently are more inquisitive than the advanced humans that once inhabited the colony. What better distraction for an old woman than a pack of dogs she can train to clean up after her and protect her. We are then entertained with her scolding them like children for another quarter of the book.
But mankind will simply not let her alone, and they send a crack team of scientists who read like they must all have been based on doctors that Moon encountered in her old age, rather than the specialists in their fields that they supposedly are. Despite freeing herself of the yolk of oppression brought on by societal pressures to dress a certain way, (Ofelia takes to nudism quite early on), our protagonist can’t help but immediately snap back into a catty woman vs. woman attitude as soon as other females arrive, even going so far as to be disgusted at how many buttons the most attractive of them leaves open on her blouse, when she herself greeted them upon arrival in nothing but a loincloth around her waist and a cape over her shoulders.
As with any good guilty pleasure when an author basically transports themselves into a story, the protagonist is raised to the level of near deity by her dog people as they lick salt from her hands and entrust her with their litters. She is then transferred all power, both over the dog people and her own when she becomes the go between for humans and indigents. The book ends in a climactic killing of the most masculine of characters and then Ofelia creates a safe haven for old women across the universe who are weeded out from the population and sent to live in the single sex retirement colony where they all live in peace with their dog people and play with grandpuppies.
. . . as the story is really about an almost 80-year-old heroine who just wants to be left alone after a lifetime of living her life for others - of being told what to do and when to do it and of having to live her life within the (unwanted) constraints of her society.
I loved this story - maybe because I too sometimes just want to be left alone (which may very well come across as being a crotchety old woman!).
I enjoyed the development of the character and think the setting of a colonized world is really secondary to the storyline. It's a story that addresses an old woman's need to be true to herself. I think of some of the Red Hat Ladies I have known and think that they would enjoy this story - breaking with society's "norms" to be true to your inner voice.
The narration was wonderful and I can't imagine how difficult it was to have to "speak" a language that involves clicks and clacks.
I would recommend this book to any woman of a particular age who understands what it means to just want to be left alone.
This is one of the most memorable books I've listened to in a very long time.I want to go to that world and learn, play, become Ofilia.
This book was so satisfying, I didn't want the book to end, So, so, so much fun!!! Enjoy, well worth your money/credit!!!
"One of the all time great stories"
Great story. Well written, an alternative to the classic humans meet aliens. Heart warming.
Report Inappropriate Content